Updated: Man Charged With Murder in Zai Rodriguez-Irizarry's Death
Following the shooting death of 7-year-old Zai Rodriguez-Irizarry on July 10, Wasatch County Attorney Wade Case has filed first degree murder charges against Christopher O’Connell.
Charges against O’Connell were filed in Fourth District Court Monday. He was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Fourth District Court, but his lawyer requested that be delayed until August 11 so she could review discovery documents.
In addition to the murder charge, O'Connell is also charged with four other felonies: discharge of a firearm, purchase, transfer, possession, or use of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, distribution or arrangement to distribute a controlled substance, and sexual battery.
Charges against him also include three misdemeanors related to intoxication and controlled substances.
Sheriff’s reports and accounts by friends and family said Zai was killed when a bullet from an apartment next to her family’s traveled through a shared wall and hit her late last Friday night.
According to a probable cause statement filed in Wasatch County’s Fourth district court, O’Connell was in the apartment next to Zai’s family’s with two other men and two women, who told police O’Connell was incredibly intoxicated and had been waving a gun around.
Zai’s father called 911 as he was taking his daughter to the hospital. Officers responding went to Zai’s apartment, and heard a gunshot coming from a neighboring unit. They arrested O’Connell and two other men shortly after.
O’Connell is being held without bail, and the other two men have been released.
This is a developing story and KPCW will update you as more information becomes available.